There’s no way to deny it. COVID has changed the lounge world, especially here in Tokyo. Relaxation is still on offer, but not the way it used to be. That’s why LoungeSharks is updating all their lounge reports so that you know exactly what to expect as we adapt for new times. The world needs our JAL First Class Lounge Narita Review (NRT) – becuase while plenty of bloggers have covered this lounge in the good times, only LoungeSharks is willing to get in there and tell you what its like during the bad times. And, to be honest, the bad times…they aren’t actually so bad. Unless you like crowds, or free shoe-shines. If you do, this post won’t have good news for you because the shoe shiner is long gone, along with the crowds.
Without further ado, the first review of the JAL First Class Lounge at Tokyo-Narita (NRT) written for the COVID era.
Our Trip – JAL First Class Lounge Narita Review
As the post-Covid set in, we decided to trade out a Indonesia, and the beauty of Yogyakarta for the pleasures of the Dominican Republic. We had a full 12 hours in Narita to review this lounge for you, so you can be sure that it is as good as it gets.
The Facts – JAL First Class Lounge Narita Review
If you’re reading about this lounge, you know the deal because you’re earned it. You’re either flying in first class on a paid or award ticket, or else you have Oneworld Emerald status. Those are the only two ways into this lounge. HOWEVER, for the time being, business class passengers ALSO have access to this lounge, until further notice (the Sakura Lounge is closed.)
There were…not a lot of flights leaving from Narita, and you too can expect things not to be very full for a very long time.
To access the lounge, may not use the standard entry door. Instead, take the escalator up to the second floor, where you’ll be checked in.
The Space – JAL First Class Lounge Narita Review
Normally, the lounge has two main areas, one upstairs with all of the food, and a second room accessible by elevator downstairs that functions as a svelte, old-school style whiskey lounge. This area normally has a shoe-shine, a bartender and a great collection of whiskeys and sakes. This entire are is currently CLOSED. The only reason to do downstairs is to check into the shower area – more on that below.
Up stairs, the seating area is a mix of dining areas and lounge areas. There is no designated sleeping area, except for the massage chairs. That said, if you need to sleep, the lounge is empty enough you can use a couch or push some chairs together pretty easily. We slept for 9 hours with a mask on and no one bothered us.
Lockers are available upstairs. They operate electronically and are straightforward and trustworthy (just not as fun as lockers that come with staff like in Mo Bay.
The food – JAL First Class Lounge Narita Review
Most of the seating are is actually dedicated to the consumption of various Japanese deliciosities. We’ll take a look at that first.
Alright, now, let’s talk food. As you’d expect, sushi is very much available. The same two surly old men who have been slanging wasabi into sticky rice for years are still doing their thing like nothing ever changed. At really, when it comes to the sushi, it hasn’t. The same 3 items are always available, and that will never change. Finally, something constant in this crazy covid world.
There’s a little more excitement to be had at the main food station, where you can get plenty of breakfast and dinner options made to order. You review the options, place your order with the staff, and they give you a buzzer. Its all a little silly – with so few passengers, they’re not likely to forget who you are and they may well bring your food straight to you. The portions are a little small, so you can feel comfortable ordering a few of them. We went with the ramen and the Japanese breakfast. Its great for your health and your bowels.
The drink options are good, but there’s no longer the whiskey menu, the bartender, the softball sized icecubes, or anything of the sort. Its more self-serve, but the range isn’t so bad.
Beer dispensers are also off for now, but there are plenty of bottles and cans in the freezer.
As fast as you’d like and expect. There are connectivity issues in the shower area, which is annoying if you want to stream the news or something, but if that’s an issue, ask for a shower on the left, where connectivity is better.
There are acceptable restrooms upstairs. The showers are downstairs. Toilets have all the high-tech functions you expect and demand from Japan. The toilletries are also decent. They offer razors, toothbrushes, and, for some reason, a massive shoehorn. There’s also a hairdryer. All in all, its easy and comfortable to clean up here, though there are no frills.
This is a world-class lounge, even in its diminished Covid state. It doesnt really have any bells or whistles, but what it does do wel lis deliver great good, professional service, and sushi on demand. The only thing we miss is the monthly whiskey selection poured by a great bartender. If that comes back, as it may well have by then time you read this, you’ll be on cloud nine. And, for the record, it’s a zillion times better than the Priority Pass lounges in this terminal: as different as fuji apples and oranges.